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Re: Various items

On Thursday 17 July 2008 00:24:14 Dann Pigdon wrote:

> I've only got one minor quibble about the text - the use of the word
> 'Gondwanaland' at the end of the second-last paragraph. The word Gondwana
> means 'land of the Gonds', so Gondwanaland would mean 'land of the land of
> the Gonds'.

Gondwana means forest of Gonds. Gond refers to a Dravidian speaking tribe - 
Ganda in Sanskrit. wana is derived from Sanskrit "vana" meaning forest. Part 
of the forest occupied by the Ganda tribe was called Gandavana by the 
incoming Sanskrit speaking Indo-Europeans (Aryans, if you like) which in 
local dialect became Gondwana. During British rule Gondwana became an 
administrative district. Glossopterygian dominated fossil fauna found in coal 
mines of that district was called Gondwana fauna. Originally the name given 
for the southern supercontinent was Gondwana-Land (land which held Gondwana 
district) which later changed to Gondwanaland.

I know, Mary White in her book Greening of Gondwana made Gond a fossil plant 
and wana - land. But both these meanings are unfortunately wrong. You may 
look up the Oxford English Dictionary for details.